Name of a
monkey of the genus Macaca,
of which there are several species, including five that are found in
Thailand, i.e. the
Crab-eating Macaque (Macaca irus or
(Macaca nemestrina or
ling hang san -
Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta or
ling wok -
Macaque (Macaca assamensis or
ling wok phu khao -
fig.) and the
Stump-tailed Macaque (Macaca
ling sen -
Beside these, there is yet another species of Pig-tailed Macaque,
known as the Northern Pig-tailed Macaque, genus Macaca leonina, but
this has traditionally been considered a subspecies of Macaca nemestrina.
To distinguish the two, Macaca nemestrina is also referred to as
usually not afraid of
water, but not all species are good swimmers, though some are, and a
even like to dive (fig.).
Some species, especially Pig-tail Macaques,
are trained for picking
Typically, macaques often store food for short periods of time in
their cheeks, which they use as pouches. In Thai they
are generally called
but are specified with other or additional names.
Etymologically the word macaque comes from the Portuguese word macaco which was picked up from makaku, a word from a West African
tongue called Fiot, in which the word kaku means ‘monkey’.
In southern Thailand the Malay term
is often used to refer to the Southern Pig-tail Macaque, though in
reality the term refers to any type of monkey or macaque. In India,
macaques and some other monkeys
are considered the warriors of King
and when one of them dies near a Hindu
community, it is given the proper respect and rites for the dead (fig.).